Let's see, we've had SimCity, SimEarth, SimAnt, SimLife, SimFarm, SimTower, SimSafari, and a bunch more Sim games over the years. So what's next? If you guessed SimContrabass Quartet, SimSylvester Stallone, or SimCrime of Passion you are incorrect. However, if you happened to say "Sim Animals" then take a moment to shake your own hand, sir or madam, because you are correct! The game, which was the first shown during today's EA E3 press conference looks to continue the remarkable success of the life-emulating series with a game devoted entirely to the animal world.
The world of Sim Animals will be, obviously, inhabited by furry creatures everywhere, and, as producers pointed out during the demo, some of them will be friendly, whereas others...not so much. During the trailer shown for the game, we were introduced to an adorable bear cub that was hanging out with his mom and dad. Soon, the cub met a friendly squirrel and the two started to frolic, like fake animals of entirely different species tend to do. Interrupting all the fun was a wicked-looking fox who looked an order of magnitude scarier than any fox we've ever seen.
Pretty soon, the fox was hassling the bear cub and the squirrel, which was where you got to see a hint of how Sim Animals will play. Like many EA games shown off during today's press conference, the heads-up display elements in Sim Animals are minimal. However, you will have control over the world. In the demo example, the "player" used the in-game hand tool (which you'll likely control with the Wii Remote or DS stylus) to remove a tree to give the bear cub an escape route from the fox. When the fox foiled, the cub and the squirrel were reunited, so it was time for more frolicking. Wheeee.
With a clean AI and simple-to-learn play style, Sim Animals looks to be a family-friendly game that will appeal to animal lovers. The game is due for release in January 2009 on the Nintendo Wii and DS. We'll have more on the game as we follow its progress.